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JGM, Solicitor
Category: Scots Law
Satisfied Customers: 12076
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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I seperated from my wife in april 2001 after discovering she

Customer Question

I seperated from my wife in april 2001 after discovering she had been having an affair for 6 years.
After seperation my wife had a complete mental breakdown. I carried on paying rent, council tax and all other expenses, (the council house and all services were in her name)
for 12 months and over a number of years cleared £10,000 of debts she had run up.
I rented my own flat for 3 years then moved in with my current partner.
My current partner is pushing me to get a divorce but my ex wife is refusing to agree to a divorce until I pay her compensation towards what she believes is her entitlement to maintenance because I left her.
She has not worked since the 1980's and now has all her living expenses, rent excetera paid by social security/council.
As i said, she had a mental breakdown and was moved to a mental hospital on numerous occasions and as far as I know is still very unstable and volatile.
Am I right in thinking that I can apply for a divorce without having to pay her anything more.

Steve Archer
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Scots Law
Expert:  JGM replied 5 years ago.
Thank you for your question.

You can apply for a divorce on the ground that you have been separated for a period in excess of two years.

You wife's only defence to such an action would be that if the divorce is granted she would suffer extreme financial hardship.

However, from what you say that defence won't work. You have paid her maintenance in the past. You have paid her debts. You have been living apart since 2001 so there is a substantial period of separation during which the law says that your wife is entitled to maintenance for a period to enable her to adjust to her new circumstances.

In my opinion, and assuming that there are no marital assets remaining which have to be divided, you have long since satisfied any obligation to maintain your wife and should not have to pay her anything further.

I hope this helps. Please leave a positive response so that I am credited for my time.